This pregnant mama is exhausted! (HBU?)

A pregnant mother standing in a doorway with her toddler.

This pregnant mama is *exhausted*.

But elated at the same time. We are pregnant with baby #2, and just had our anatomy scan this morning. The doctor confirmed what we already tentatively knew- BOY!- plus everything looked 100% healthy. We are super excited about our baby boy who will be completing our sweet family in late December (or possibly January).

Out here in Maryland, we just suffered through the two hottest days of the year so far on Saturday and Sunday. Heat index was over 100 degrees. When I walked outside, I felt like I was baking.

I’m trying to keep up with exercising, even in the heat of the summer. This past weekend, I think I just started sweating when I stepped out of the door. So, in case you are wondering, yes, I managed to go for walks this weekend, but we spent more time swimming and that was infinitely more enjoyable.

My daughter, Kenna, is 14 months old, and we just completed her first round of swim lessons. We live by the beach, and it’s critical that she not only knows how to swim well but also we want her to enjoy the water too. But… swim lessons have been an experience.

The first day, Kenna cried for 25 minutes out of our 30 minute lesson. The second day, we celebrated when it was only 20 minutes! Poor thing, just did not seem to want anything to do with water.

Well, this weekend, we struggled through yet another swim lesson. She can manage to hold her breath and go through a hula hoop underwater, but seems to hate every single minute of it.

But then… that afternoon, we went over to a neighbor’s pool. It was so hot, there was literally nothing else we could do outside except go swimming, and we were very grateful to have access to a private pool.

Wouldn’t you know it… Kenna didn’t cry once. She LOVED splashing around in the water, LOVED blowing bubbles, and for the first time ever, was totally willing to kick her legs while swimming on her back. We stayed in the pool for almost an hour. It was wonderful. She was laughing and actually enjoying being in the water.

Here I am, thinking: What the heck, girlfriend? How come you don’t do this during swim lessons?

Whatever, I’ll take it!

Which brings me back to my original point.

Phew, I am exhausted.

Baby girl wakes up around 7:00am. I’m up a few minutes before that, just enough time to brush my teeth, let the dog out, and make coffee.

Then, open the gates, we’re off!

In the morning, we usually have milk and a NA NA (Kenna code for banana), hang out for a bit on the front porch (if it’s not 100 degrees outside), then take a leisurely, long walk around the little historic town of Berlin, and to the park to play for a bit.

Then, we head back to the house. Baby girl only needs one nap a day now, so we still have a few hours to kill before naptime. Some days that’s music class or swim lessons, other days it’s see how many puffs she can shove into her mouth at a time.

Every single morning includes some version of me getting my pregnant butt comfy (which is no easy feat, mind you), and then her immediately running into the next room. And, repeat.

Throw in a few rounds of me chasing her around the house to put a diaper on her naked behind because she ninja crawled away while I was trying to change her, or trying to coax her into eating “just one more bite” before she gets distracted with riding her baby tricycle, or maybe having the third meltdown of the morning because I make her come inside from playing in the baby pool once her lips turn blue… but damn, I’m exhausted by the time it’s noon.

I know I can’t be the only one who looks forward to naptime every day, just so this mama can catch a break.

Of course, then during naptime, I need to act like an adult. I’m running this business, after all! I usually have a client or two to talk to on the phone or exchange emails with to check in on their baby’s progress, have a social media post to work on, and of course this week especially, I’m getting ready for a big Facebook live series next week.

In addition to this business, in case you didn’t know, I’m also working on my doctorate, and am in the process of writing my literature review. That basically means a LOT of reading and writing in very fancy academic stuff. So I try to balance business stuff with academic stuff.

On a good day, baby girl will take a solid 3-hour nap. On days like today, when I could REALLY have used a little longer of a break, naps are shorter, only 1.5 hours. (I absolutely KNOW I must be grateful she at least takes long naps, because I so often work with many babies who take super short, 20-minute naps when we first start working together).

I’ll manage to get my to-do list mostly done during this time frame, but once she’s awake after her nap, we’re 100% up and running all afternoon.

Many days, we visit Babci and Grandpa at the farm. Brett (the most amazing husband in the whole wide world, I’ve got to give him a plug here), will go and do animal chores, which includes feeding and watering them, and often moving them to fresh pasture. We hang out near the house. Kenna plays on her “scoot scoot”, bangs on the piano, and plays hide-and-seek in the back bedroom. We found out recently it’s more like hide-and-poop because every time we find her, there’s a dirty diaper.

Then, we might run some errands or we’ll come home, play for awhile longer, and start making dinner. Again, giving Brett lots of credit here for keeping our family well fed and 99% healthy.

Dinnertime, more play time (= me chasing Kenna around so she doesn’t fall/choke/poke her fingers into electrical sockets/fall off chairs), and then bedtime.

Kenna loves her bedtime routine, which we’ve been doing ever since consciously working to improve her sleep when she was 3 months old. We play in the bath, which now is quite raucous and not at all a calming activity due to all the splashing, then we change her into her sleep clothes and sleep sack, read a book (or occasionally 5), and give big kisses to all her stuffed animals.

By 7:00-7:30pm when she gets put into her crib, yup, you guessed it, I’m completely exhausted.

Depending on the night, I might put another couple hours of work in, or Brett and I might just curl up and watch a movie.

This past week, I’ve been working in the evenings, and with renewed energy I’ll be honest. If you haven’t already heard, I’m going to be doing a Facebook live series on sleep next week for the private group I manage (@Baby and Toddler Sleep Q&A- link here if you want to join btw!).

Now, I know I’m tired. I’m pregnant, and I have a crazy toddler running around. But in the big scheme of it all, I don’t really have it that bad.

Because so many mamas are exhausted for another reason: their baby wakes up multiple times a night, or takes an hour to fall asleep at bedtime, or takes terribly short naps and they never get a break. (Or all three.) And for these mamas, there’s no end in sight, because they don’t know how to solve their baby’s sleep challenges.

Working with sleep-deprived mamas (and some dads too!), is exactly why I started this business. I know firsthand what it’s like to feel like you’ve tried everything and to see literally nothing work at helping your baby sleep longer stretches. Many mamas tell me while we are working together that they too have read 1000 online articles, sought advice from friends, or read multiple books- and those same mamas also tell me they wish they had started working with me sooner.

If that resonates with you, or if you are just a tired mama who wants to get her baby or toddler back on track with sleep, then you should absolutely check out my Facebook live series next week. It’s totally free, and we’ll cover everything to do with sleep- the 4 Foundations of Sleep, why sleep = sanity (and saves relationships), and how to create your ideal bedtime routine and perfect schedule for your baby’s age. Here’s the link ONE MORE TIME just in case.

P.S. Keep an eye out for some BIG NEWS coming your way next week, my friend!

Sleep Philosophy
My sleep philosophy is that all children (and mommas!) need restful sleep, and so my goal is to help children learn independent sleep skills so that they can fall asleep on their own and stay asleep through the night. I will help develop a customized sleep plan that aligns with the family’s wishes.